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An item appeared on the BBC today saying that over 1,000 new coaches are to be built for the UK. These are primairly going to be used in the South East where services are struggling. This will apparently be the equivelant of 1/10th of the current fleet. The Government wants them introdued by 2014 and will be responsible for building them and will lease them back to the rail companies.

The article also said that the amount of rail passenmgers rose 10% last year.

Does this herald the dawning of a new golden age of rail?

Or, are we just catching up belatedly on where we should be if the rail network had been invested in properly?
 

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QUOTE Or, are we just catching up belatedly on where we should be if the rail network had been invested in properly?
Basically! Where are the bi-level trains and lower platforms, a proper high speed rail network, a European loading gauge, and some proper maintenance? The average age of the rollingstock is almost Jurassic according to the carbon-14 dating results...and even the new Virgin stuff still rolls down a hill when the points are only half there...


Otherwise, the legacy of privatisation has been a huge success


Goedel
 

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QUOTE (goedel @ 14 Mar 2007, 02:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Basically! Where are the bi-level trains and lower platforms, a proper high speed rail network, a European loading gauge, and some proper maintenance? The average age of the rollingstock is almost Jurassic according to the carbon-14 dating results...and even the new Virgin stuff still rolls down a hill when the points are only half there...


Otherwise, the legacy of privatisation has been a huge success


Goedel

Looking at the sheer work to do in the south east to end up with a European loading gauge - bridges, tunnels, OHL equipment (although the alternative may be to lower the tracks & platform - don't know, I'm not a civil engineer) - in this crowded corner ?

Even if the investment capital was available it just will not happen in (most of) our lifetimes.
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 14 Mar 2007, 10:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Looking at the sheer work to do in the south east to end up with a European loading gauge - bridges, tunnels, OHL equipment (although the alternative may be to lower the tracks & platform - don't know, I'm not a civil engineer) - in this crowded corner ?

Even if the investment capital was available it just will not happen in (most of) our lifetimes.

And not just the South East- the whole problem of the loading gauge applies to the whole of the UK. As an example look at any photo of a mainland Europe 66 on a freight train. The 66 is built to the British loading gauge, the wagons to the UIC standard.

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (goedel @ 14 Mar 2007, 02:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Where are the bi-level trains and lower platforms, a proper high speed rail network, a European loading gauge, and some proper maintenance?

Well obviously a European loading gauge is just wishful thinking
(we might as well change gauge for the cost!), but all the other things are possible surely? There isn't a high speed rail network but could be, the platforms could be lowered for hundreds of thousands or millions (not billions) and bilevel trains are hardly a mind boggling concept ... unlike proper maintenance seems to be!

Regarding rollingstock age, the HST though iconic is surely getting on a bit now? After the third engine upgrade and billionth repaint?

Listening to Radio 4 last night it was hillarious how the spokesman for the Private Operators firstly said that the railways were booming with passenger numbers up 10% but then that they, the operators couldn't afford to pay themselves for the extra coaches because 'they'd take more than a few years to pay for themselves' - exactly the problem with these companies - short term thinking and shareholder profits govern their every action. He even admitted that by the time the new coaches arrive the growth in passenger numbers will probably cancel their effect out on overcrowding anyway!

I'd hate passenger numbers to be down 10%, presumably the operating companies would demand passengers provide the trains themselves!


Goedel
 

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I seem to remember seeing a bi-level EMU running on the Southern region many years ago,was this just a prototype or was there a fleet of them?
Or was it a sardine can for passengers and unpopular?

Hmm.
David
 

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QUOTE (adecoaches26point4 @ 14 Mar 2007, 16:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I seem to remember seeing a bi-level EMU running on the Southern region many years ago,was this just a prototype or was there a fleet of them?
Or was it a sardine can for passengers and unpopular?
Hmm.
David

It was a Bulleid design, code 4DD. There were two built, numbered 4001 and 4002. Because of gauge restrictions they only ran on one branch. There was no great saving aceived iby their use. The numbers were later allocated to the experimental 4PEP units of early 70's vintage.

Regards

John
 

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Good news! Hopefully it includes 2 extra coaches for Pendolinos to extend them from 9 to 11 cars. Finance on this was recently withdrawn due to a review of fees being charged from ROSCOs

Russell
 

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QUOTE (goedel @ 14 Mar 2007, 15:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Regarding rollingstock age, the HST though iconic is surely getting on a bit now? After the third engine upgrade and billionth repaint?

If they have many more repaints they will need the european loading gauge to take into account all the layers of paint
.
 

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Re the Bulleid double deckers - they worked mostly on Charing Cross or Cannon Street to Dartford services via Greenwich or Blackheath and occasionally on the Bexleyheath and Dartford loop lines. I travelled in them numerous times when living at Woolwich in my youth.
They sat 110 in each of the end motor coaches and 144 in each of the two trailer coaches.
This compares with 102 seats in the motor coaches of 4SUB units, 132 seats in the compartment trailer second and 120 seats in the open trailer second.
So the gain in seats was not great. Furthermore the upstairs was somewhat claustrophobic and needed mechanical ventilation. The biggest draw-back was the extra station time needed to load/unload the upstairs passengers. They eventually were only run in off-peak services, and BR Southern Region concentrated on extending platforms to take 10 or 12 coach trains.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 14 Mar 2007, 21:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Re the Bulleid double deckers - they worked mostly on Charing Cross or Cannon Street to Dartford services via Greenwich or Blackheath and occasionally on the Bexleyheath and Dartford loop lines. I travelled in them numerous times when living at Woolwich in my youth.

I knew they only worked certain services, thanks for the rest of the gen.

Regards

John
 

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I wonder if any civil service policy wonk has cast his or her jaundiced eyes over the rakes of rolling stock "stored" in assorted MOD bases and redundant quarries around the UK! They'd produce hundreds of coaches just like that.

Ho hum!


60134
 

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I saw this story, too, Neil and read it with interest.

Sadly, I don't think it will herald a new golden age of rail in the UK (though I wish it did). My impression is that the present UK government (and any future government of any political persuasion, for that matter) is so locked into the "We Cannot Raise Taxes" mantra that the billions required to properly upgrade Britain's rail infrastructure will never be spent.

I think it is more likely to herald a new golden age of "trying to make do and mend on the tiniest possible budget."

The only possible reason I see why this might change is if certain current trends all went rail's way, for example:

1) The UK Rail industry collectively took on the aviation industry, capitalising on the recent higher profile around "Green Taxes" and carbon costs.
2) The UK Rail industry and all its friends took on the so-called road lobby and in particular, split the unholy alliance between the Road-haulage industry and private motorists (what a smart piece of politicking that has been by somebody).
3) People's daily experience of, and attitude to, the other travel modes became unacceptable to them.

For example, I like my car well enough, but year by year, my daily experience has been that driving in Britain becomes that little bit more unpleasant (in terms of congestion, jams, stress, etc). Once we have 60 tonne lorries on the road, I presume this will get worse.

Although Rail could fix some of these problems, I personally doubt any British government will dare to take on the media and the powerful lobbies that protect the interests against it. I welcome more rolling stock and longer trains for the UK, but one can only sweat the assets so far...

A recent e-petition against further road price charging collected what was it, a million and a half signatures. The most heavily-subscribed pro-rail petition I saw ( or even, pro-Britain, rational transport policy, I would call it), raised a few thousand signatures. That's what we're up against in the UK.

It would be great if my scepticism is proved wrong though.
 

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QUOTE (60134 @ 15 Mar 2007, 13:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I wonder if any civil service policy wonk has cast his or her jaundiced eyes over the rakes of rolling stock "stored" in assorted MOD bases and redundant quarries around the UK! They'd produce hundreds of coaches just like that.

Ho hum!


60134

Perhaps they are going to charter all the ex BR mk1 stock that's now happily trundling up and down on the preserved lines.


Regards

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
QUOTE For example, I like my car well enough, but year by year, my daily experience has been that driving in Britain becomes that little bit more unpleasant (in terms of congestion, jams, stress, etc). Once we have 60 tonne lorries on the road, I presume this will get worse.

I know the feeling, it took me an hour and three quarters to get to work the other day by car. The train takes 22 minutes
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 15 Mar 2007, 21:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I know the feeling, it took me an hour and three quarters to get to work the other day by car. The train takes 22 minutes


Actually, I know this is off-topic, but what are rail services like in Australia? Inasmuch as you can generalise?

QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 16 Mar 2007, 07:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>We probably already do ! (it's just that they usually have Easter European plates)


Good point! Granted I wouldn't recognise one....
 
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